MeMe's Outdoor Sale Season--week 5 (or is it 6?)

2013 has been a year of learning & growth thus far, and I don't see that changing any time soon. Since I sell at my local farmer's market (, Washington, not Vancouver, BC) most weekends March through October and a few shows in Seattle, Portland & Issaquah, days off become far & few between. This is the life of a handmade artist. Throw in my day-job running my one-woman housecleaning service and you get the idea. I'm pretty busy. But I would not change my life for a second. It keeps me active, my husband keeps me fed (and cleans the house, stocks the wood for the fire, and is getting our garden ready for planting). Do we have lots and lots of money to go on vacations, buy a new car, new clothes? No. But what we do have is a stocked pantry, a fireplace to keep our heating bills low, a freezer full of grass-fed beef and a few beers in the fridge. My former "career" (I don't know if I'd even call it that) as a mortgage lender was stressful; I was stuck in a cubicle for 8-12 hours on any given weekday, had to have a gym membership to keep myself from going to crazy at work, and yeah, I had weekends off, which was nice, but the amout of stress I had to deal with could have been crippiling. I am still grateful for the meeting I had with my branch manager & supervisor in 2004 after Chris and I took a 2 week vacation to the desert southwest. In that meeting, I was given a choice: sign this contract & don't step a toe out of line and you can keep your job ... or ... walk away, take our severance package, our reference and unemployment. I choose unemployment. And I smiled the entire drive home. 

Here I am, almost a decade later and I'm doing what I want to do, not what I have to do. Trust me, this is not a life for everyone. I find myself thinking, "Should I update my resume and go back to corporate life?" during the lean, dark winter months. Its not easy and the cliche of, "Oh, you're self employed, so you get a vacation whenever you want. Must be nice," is true, but that time off can come in large chunks with little income from web sales and wholesale orders to keep us going. 

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